Emotions are an integral part of our physiology and without emotions we probably wouldn’t survive. For example, if we don’t experience sadness, how can we grieve the loss of something or someone important? If we don’t experience joy, how can we repeat experiences that make us happy?

Meditation therefore is a vehicle to be able to get down to our core emotions and inner truth by acknowledging our thoughts and anxieties and connecting to the core of who we are.

Do you know that we have over 45,000 thoughts a day? This is a fact that not many people are aware of therefore no wonder we sometimes find it difficult to focus on what we are doing and to be present in our work, family and relationships. The most important relationship you will have is with yourself. Being healthy and present within your own world will undoubtedly help you be a better person for others.

Before you start meditating, the below skills may be helpful in helping you practice being mindful and more aware.

Observation

This is an important skill in Mindfulness training and meditation as it helps us to remove ourselves from our thinking or rational mind into simply observing our thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations.

Describing

This is a skill used to notice the finer details of our observations. Research shows that describing how you feel and why can lessen Anxiety levels and help you feel better. Try sitting and describing an object around you or an emotion you are experiencing and see what happens to your experience of it.

Participating Fully

The aim of Mindfulness is to allow yourself to consider the whole of your experience, without excluding anything. Try to notice all aspects of whatever task or activity you are doing, and do with your full care and attention. For example, try and fully experience making a cup of coffee. Notice the smell of the coffee, what it looks like, the sound of the water pouring into the cup. Practice this skill with any other activity you may do on a daily basis and see how your experience of it changes. When learning to meditate, it is easy to be distracted by outside noises or your inner self talk. Bringing yourself back to the experience of meditation no matter how many times you get distracted will eventually make you a more effective meditator and you will gain great results.

Being Non-Judgemental

This is a super important skill to apply to your meditation and mindfulness practice. Learning to not attach a value judgement or a good or bad label to your experience will help you remain as Mindful and calm as possible. This isn’t something that comes naturally for most as it is a skill that must be practiced and developed.

So what is my overall aim of providing this service to you? I’ll give you a little example of how the practice of meditation and mindfulness theory has been helpful to me.

I have always been a ‘million miles an hour person’. I’ve always prided myself on being able to multi task and get stuff done. So much ‘stuff’ in fact that I often found myself getting overwhelmed by exhaustion and annoyance. A few years back I started to observe and notice other people enjoy themselves and be present in the moment and I thought to myself, “how do they do this?” and “where do people get the time to just chill out?.”

I found myself becoming curious of exactly how they managed this. I then started to wonder, can you be ‘present’ and ‘in the moment’ whilst doing everyday tasks? So this is where I pulled out my notes from my Mindfulness training that I completed while I was working in the prison system. There I learnt that you can be present in whatever task you are doing, whether it be an everyday task or quite simply playing UNO with a friend. So how can this be so? This brings me to the idea of FLOW.

Flow has been positively linked to happiness. In our society, we have been taught that happiness is often to do with our external successes such as, money, cars, fancy clothes etc. Research has found that this not necessarily the case and that a person in FLOW who is making a cup of tea can be just as happy if not happier than someone who has just purchased a new Mercedes Benz. Meditation then, is a tool to be able to quieten our minds, manage our thoughts and emotions to be able to enter into the realm of FLOW in our everyday lives.